Get Your Cheer On

Holiday Events to Get You in the Festive Spirit

Whether you're ready or not.

By Spencer Brown

Seattle Men's Chorus brings on the festive cheer.

Depending on who you ask, it's either the best time of year or the worst. For those who started prematurely prepping for the festive season on November 1, here are some things you can do now that it’s finally socially acceptable to blast Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” (We won't tell Bing Crosby.) For those who think it's the worst, well, here's a guide to the city's best new bars.

Just want to see some holiday lights already? We got you. Rather pick out a Christmas tree? That too.


Choose Your Merry:

Performances / Special Events / Shopping / Food and Drink  


Performances

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley

November 23–December 30 | Taproot theatre, $25–51 

The world of Jane Austen meets the Christmas season with this performance featuring the characters from her beloved book Pride and Prejudice. The Darcys and Bennets have more drama to endure and a secret to uncover while trying to enjoy seasonal festivities amid a visit from wayward sister Lydia. 

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

November 25–December 23 | Bagley Wright Theater, $22–100 

Adapted from Samantha Silva’s novel set in Victorian England, the story centers around Charles Dickens, who is given an ultimatum to either write a Christmas book within a month or lose everything. The show takes a comedic approach to Dickens’s life and his holiday classic, creating an entirely new iconic seasonal story. 

A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol 2022

November 25–December 23 | Unexpected Productions, $20–25

The timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge as you’ve never seen it before. A new, twisted version of the literary classic emerges from collaboration between the audience and actors each and every year.

A Christmas Carol

November 25–December 24 | ACT Theatre, $39–77 

Christmas is nothing without this Dickens classic, a quintessential tale about grouchy, greedy Ebenezer Scrooge, who must exorcise his ghosts of Christmas past by the time morning arrives—and the curtain closes. 

Pacific Northwest Ballet's The Nutcracker

November 25–December 27 | McCaw Hall, $39–77 

Enchantment returns to McCaw Hall with Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual production of the magical, holiday favorite. PNB is also making George Balanchine’s seasonal favorite available to stream from December 19–27.

A John Waters Christmas 

November 30 | The Neptune Theatre, $35

Famed filmmaker John Waters returns to Seattle with a show full of Christmas jeers. Infamous for extravagant comedic Christmas parties, Waters brings his signature bawdy irreverence to this holiday monologue. 

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas

December 1–4 | Seattle Symphony, $35–100 

The Seattle Symphony projects Tim Burton’s classic movie in its entirety for attendees to enjoy—and argue about whether it's a Halloween or Christmas movie. All the while, the symphony plays the score of the movie live.

Can Can's Wonderland

December 1–January 8 | Can Can, $65–119 

The Can Can theater turns into a winter chalet complete with dancers, music, and performers swinging from chandeliers. Food, wine, and spirits are made with fresh, winter ingredients to create a multifaceted seasonal experience. 

Jingle All the Gay

December 2–18 | 915 E Pine st, $40 

The iconic Kitten N’ Lou are back with one of Seattle’s most beloved “holigay traditions.” This year’s limited run can put even a certified Scrooge in the Christmas spirit, ringing in the season with song, dance, and the perfect amount of hijinks.

Seattle Men's Chorus Holiday Fa-la-la-liday Concerts

December 2–23 | various, $29–202 

Let's just say this isn't your average Christmas concert. Seattle Men's Chorus returns for its unique brand of festive cheer, which includes a Christmas conga and one heck of a singalong this year.

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker

December 7–30 | The Triple Door, $70–110 

Celebrate the holiday season with (what else?) burlesque. Now in its 16th season, Land of Sweets features classic characters like the Sugar Plum Fairy, a cavalcade of rat kings, and snowflakes. 

A Very Drunken Christmas Carol

December 9–18 | Seattle Opera, $50 

After several sold-out performances last year, the drunken tenor is back with this retelling of the classic Dickens story. In this show the Drunken Tenor is knocked out and wakes up in an alternate reality where he has to learn how he became the person he is and how his choices have consequences.

Total Request Live Night: Ugly Christmas Sweater Edition

December 10, 9pm | Tractor Tavern, $12

This nineties-themed holiday show is all that and a bag of chips. DJ HandZ and boy band cover group All4doras perform hits from NSync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, TLC, and more, all to a crowd covered in garishly festive garb.

Sugar Plum Gary

December 16–24 | 18th and UnioN, choose your own price

This interactive comedy show centers around Gary, a man who has been possessed by the holiday spirit ever since Santa paid him a visit. An opening (“Does anyone have a question about Christmas?”) gives the audience an opportunity to ponder and discuss the mysteries and magic of the holiday. 

Holiday Hootenanny and Sing-A-Long

December 17 | The Royal Room, $20

The 20th anniversary of this festive performance showcases all the holiday songs,  from the classic to the obscure. Lyric sheets and a variety of treats are available while a large roster of local musicians sing from the great holiday songbook.

A Holiday Celebration with Harry Connick, Jr. 

December 19–20 | Benaroya Hall, $65–175

Grammy and Emmy Award–winning singer Harry Connick, Jr., is one of the most recognizable voices of the season. This year, he graces the Seattle stage at Benaroya Hall for a two-night engagement, which brings a lineup of holiday classics as well as his originals and favorites like “When My Heart Finds Christmas.”

The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show

December 21–24 | The Moore Theatre, $35–205

Drag superstars Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme bring their iconic holiday show back to Seattle. Featuring brand-new songs, annual favorites, and tons of original comedy, this is perfect for anyone who loves drag, Christmas, or both.  

Special Events

Gingerbread Village

November 22–January 1 | Sheraton grand seattle, $5 suggested donation

With the help of several local architecture firms, the culinary team at the Grand Sheraton creates massive structures from thousands of pounds of dough, hundreds of pounds of fondant, and over 150,000 pieces of candy. The event takes on the theme “Buzzing Back” and benefits the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation chapter.

Christmas Ship Festival

November 25–December 23 | Various, $40–72

The Spirit of Seattle has been cruising Puget Sound since 1949, bringing seaside Christmas magic to almost 40 different waterfront communities. Coined the city’s official “Christmas Ship,” the vessel will set sail again this year, decked with lights and equipped with a choir, Santa himself, and a full-service bar, naturally. 

Snowflake Lane

November 25–December 24 | Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square, free

Holiday floats chock-full of toy drummers, sugarplum fairies, and elves parade through the streets of Bellevue under falling snow and lights every night. Leave your car in the parking garage and snag a spot along the sidewalk to immerse yourself in the magic. 

Holiday Live Music at Factoria

November 25–December 28 | The Marketplace at Factoria, free 

To celebrate the holiday season, the Marketplace at Factoria has created quite the lineup of musicians to perform live throughout December, from local piano players and vocalists to guitarists and choirs. 

Seattle Center Winterfest

November 25–December 31 | Seattle Center, free

Seattle Center dresses up for the season, continuing the 40-year tradition of displaying a nineteenth-century model train and village in miniature. Performers like D’Vonne Lewis Trio and Dickens Carolers (and many more) take over the Armory Stage throughout the monthlong festivities. 

Kringle’s Filling Station

November 25–January 1 | 8211 Aurora Ave N, $12–60

Hotopp Creative Studio transforms its vintage garage space into the Kringle family's filling station, brimming with activities like Skee-Ball, karaoke, and a photo-op in the sleigh. The gas pumps even dispense hot chocolate—talk about Christmas magic. 

Magic in the Market

November 26, 11am–5:30pm | Pike Place MarketFront Pavilion, free 

Pike Place’s MarketFront Pavilion transforms into a Yuletide paradise. Listen to caroling while sipping on eggnog and shopping for loved ones. There are several activities for children including, yes, an appearance from Santa. All of this culminates in the famous Market Lighting Ceremony at 5pm. 

Providence O’Christmas Trees

November 29–December 1 | The Westin Seattle, varies

After three years, Providence O’Christmas returns to its in-person yuletide tradition of a Silver Bells luncheon complete with designer trees. A gala dinner and auction night for those decked-out evergreens raises money for the human services ministries of Providence Home and Community Services. 

Holiday Magic

December 1–23 | Washington State Fairgrounds, $10–55 

The Puyallup fairgrounds host a holiday extravaganza that includes a firepit bar and different activities like ice skating, a laser light show, Santa’s village, and a Sugar Plum merry-go-round. Something to get everyone in the spirit: free parking in the green lot.

Issaquah Reindeer Festival

December 1–30 | Cougar mountain zoo, $14.25–17.25 

Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elven assistants have touched down in their home away from home, Cougar Mountain Zoo, where off-duty reindeer can mingle with the inhabitants of the largest zoo-based reindeer farm in the country. The photo-ops are plentiful. 

Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

December 2, 6–9pm | Pike Place Market, free

Caroling groups big and small sing it out in a vocal competition to benefit Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank. Over 10,000 people attend each year, so bring on the figgy pudding.

Holiday Pickleball Smash

December 15–18 | Eastside Tennis Center, starting at $65

What’s more Seattle than a little pickleball competition? This weekend-long holiday tournament is open to anyone 12 and up, and will be divided by skill set. If you think you’ve got a chance at gold, act fast: Registration closes on December 6. 

Rooftop Curling

Through MArch 2023 | Frolik Kitchen and Cocktails, $175 

Up on the rooftop of Frolik Kitchen and Cocktails is a brand-new curling chalet. Groups of six can enjoy 75 minutes of curling bliss (or comedy) accompanied by a cocktail carafe of hot or cold drinks, appetizers, and views of Seattle’s downtown. 

Shopping 

Winter Night Market on Bainbridge Island

December 2–3 | Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, free

Under festive lights during the Big Dark, attendees can build gingerbread houses and write letters to Santa, among many other activities for all ages. Music, food, and local vendors can be found throughout the museum and Gateway Plaza.

Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show

December 3–4 | Seattle center exhibition hall, free

For nearly two decades, independent crafters, artists, and designers have showcased their wares at Urban Craft Uprising's shows. The winter festivities tend to be the largest, just in time to stock up on holiday gifts that are handmade, high quality, and purely local. This year, UCU will also host a winter market in South Lake Union, December 8–9.

Food and Drink

Kids Holiday Cookie Decorating Class

December 3 | Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, $45 

Kids can decorate cookies with the help of pastry chef Danielle Grogan and chef Ethan Stowell. Ticket prices include sugar cookies and all the decorating materials necessary to make showstopping treats. 

Jingle Bell Breakfast and Craft Fair

December 3 | Lynnwood Convention Center, $2.50–5 

Partake of a fully stocked breakfast, with hot cocoa bar, accompanied by live musical performances from Kamiak High School and Mountlake Terrace High School. After the meal, enjoy crafts, a visit with Santa, and more than 20 local craft vendors. 

Salish Holiday Tea

December 7–15 | Salish Lodge and Spa, $30–74 

With a view of Snoqualmie Falls, attendees can relax with festive loose-leaf tea, sandwiches, scones, and pastries for a proper holiday tea.

Make Spirits Bright Holiday Cocktail Class

December 17 | Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, $80

Learn how to make seasonal drinks jolly enough to get anyone in the holiday spirit from Nicholas D’Ambrosio of Goldfinch Tavern and Amber Aristy of Diageo’s. 

Make merry at Goldfinch Tavern's holiday cocktail class.

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